What We Are Reading Today: Republic Of Wrath

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Updated 13 September 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Republic Of Wrath

Author: James A. Morone

Political scientist James A. Morone surveys more than 200 years of partisan discord in this incisive and well-researched history.
Monroe “marshals a vast amount of information into a brisk, accessible narrative, and draws illuminating contrasts between past and present, spotlighting, for instance, stark differences between the politics of Democratic presidential candidates Harry Truman and Hillary Clinton,” said a review of The Republic Of Wrath in publishersweekly.com.
This “nuanced and richly detailed account offers essential perspective ahead of the 2020 election,” said the review.
Jia Lynn Yang said in a review for The New York Times that Morone’s “narrative gains some steam the closer it gets to the present, when the contours of our current political climate become clearer. He offers a useful reminder that the switch of Black Americans from the party of Lincoln to the Democrats was a shocking development — one he credits to Franklin Roosevelt’s expansive social policies, even if they were not always designed to be equitable.”
This history, Morone suggests, means that “we should not try to predict how political alliances may look in the future.”

What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

Updated 26 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

This is the first definitive biography of Richard Avedon, a monumental photographer of the 20th century, from award-winning photography critic Philip Gefter.

“Balancing glamor with the gravitas of an artist’s genuine reach for worldy achievement — and not a little gossip — plus sixteen pages of photographs, What Becomes a Legend Most is an intimate window into Avedon’s fascinating world,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Dramatic, visionary, and remarkable, it pays tribute to Avedon’s role in the history of photography and fashion — and his legacy as one of the most consequential artists of his time,” the review added.

In his acclaimed portraits, Richard Avedon captured the iconic figures of the twentieth century in his starkly bold, intimately minimal, and forensic visual style. 

Concurrently, his work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue transformed the ideals of women’s fashion, femininity, and culture to become the defining look of an era. 

“As successful as Avedon became, he was plagued by doubts about his work not being taken seriously and tirelessly worked to make the critics look at his work as art,” said the review.